New Welsh Language Commissioner has ‘great deal of work to do,’ says campaign group
The new Welsh Language Commissioner has “great deal of work to do,” campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith has said.
The Senedd Culture Committee is holding a hearing today with the favoured candidate to be the new Welsh Language Commissioner.
Cymdeithas yr Iaith has said the new Commissioner has a great deal of work to do to ensure that standards are imposed on more organisations as soon as possible, and has also called on the new commissioner to be much more robust when organisations fail to comply with their legal duties.
Aled Powell, Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s language rights spokesperson said: “The Government has been painfully slow in bringing forward standards for new bodies such as the water companies, public transport and housing associations – organisations who provide vital services in people’s everyday lives.
“There are draft standards that have been sitting on the Welsh Language Minister’s desk for many months. The new commissioner will need to use her influence to ensure that Government resources are prioritised to speed up the process – it’s high time the civil service puts in the resources to end all the delays we’ve seen in passing new standards.”
Cymdeithas yr Iaith has also said that the new commissioner needs to be more robust when dealing with organisations who break the standards, to ensure that organisations comply with the Standards imposed on them and to maintain public trust in the system.
Aled Powell added: “If the alleged rights of Welsh speakers are to be respected, we need to ensure that there are consequences for organisations that fail to comply with their Standards.
“The Transport for Wales train service, for example, has continued to breach a number of the standards imposed on it since it was created. It’s within the commissioner’s power to fine organisations for breaching the standards, but the commissioner has never done so, meaning that organisations such as Transport for Wales continue to breach the standards with impunity, and Welsh speakers lose faith in the system and question whether we really have language rights at all.
“So, it’s vital that the new commissioner makes people’s needs and rights central to her work, and takes robust action when dealing with organisations who break the standards to ensure that Welsh language services improve.”
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